Thank you very much for the clarifications.

An additional question: the possibility that the relation between a macrolanguage and its more granular entities can be reversed due to ethnographical, sociopolitical, war or other reasons.

How can “integrity” of a code element over time be guaranteed under such circumstances?

Do we have the datamodel, which provides transparency and conversion mechanisms (also being upward and downward compatible), for such and maybe other complicated situations/developments?



Dr. Christian Galinski, Director
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From: ISO 639 Joint Advisory Committee [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Peter Constable
Sent: Freitag, 15. Februar 2008 07:15
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Proposal promotes Khasi to a macrolanguage PLEASE RESPOND ASAP


If I understand what you’re saying, “Khasi” is sometimes used as an ethnonym that covers speakers of several varieties. But it’s not clear from what you say why a macrolanguage is warranted as opposed to retiring kha to be superseded by two (or four) more granular entities. (You haven’t generally handled splits by changing the existing entity’s scope from I to M.)


Are there application scenarios in which it will make sense to treat the collection as a single language – e.g. would there be cases in which a single language resource would be applicable across all of the varieties? If so, is it really the case that there are distinct languages rather than dialect distinctions?


(If zho is a prototypical case for the notion of macrolanguage, then I’d suspect a case like this isn’t too similar: distinct languages that have to date been under-differentiated because there’s widespread literacy in a written form that is basically common to all (in the Chinese case, because one of the individual languages is so dominant).)


Can you provide more clarification regarding the basis for this change?







From: ISO 639 Joint Advisory Committee [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Joan Spanne
Sent: Thursday, February 14, 2008 1:43 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Proposal promotes Khasi to a macrolanguage PLEASE RESPOND ASAP


Dear JAC,

The remaining 10 change requests I mentioned in my message reporting to the JAC last month (message date 2008-01-16) are now mostly settled. For a couple of them, I would like discussion from the JAC. One of the, request 2007-064 ( proposes changing the scope of the existing code element for Khasi [kha] to that of macrolanguage, with two member languages, Khasi (individual language) [xix] and Lyngngam [lyg], both of which are new. I had some discussion about this case with the proposer, around the question of whether a macrolanguage really is warranted, and we concluded that, yes, it is. It is also possible that the Khasi macrolanguage should include one or both of the two existing code elements, Pnar [pbv] and War-Jaintia [aml], which are called Khasian languages. The speakers of these two languages are also frequently grouped together with the speakers of Khasi (individual language), and generically called "Khasi," even using this label among themselves. I will work with the proposer to undertake this expansion of the macrolanguage membership if it is settled that the macrolanguage is appropriate.

Any objection to this change of scope for [kha] to macrolanguage? It does not actually affect Part 2 in any visible way.

I ask for a quick response because the IETF is awaiting my completion of as many of the remaining requests as possible, so that those can also be incorporated into the last revision of RFC 4645, the Initial Language Subtag Registry.